News

Accor investigating its social media policy "breach"

Questions are again being raised about the credibility of reviews on online travel sites following revelations that Accor's PR manager had posted more than 105 reviews on TripAdvisor under a pseudonym.

Accor's general manager communications Peter Hook remains on a leave of absence while Accor investigates the situation further.

Accor's chief operating officer Simon McGrath (pictured) said the hotel group was working with TripAdvisor to investigate the matter.

"We are working closely with TripAdvisor to understand more of the details and to take whatever action is necessary to ensure the credibility and transparency of online travel reviews and forums," he said in a statement.

McGrath said "it appeared" that Hook had posted 105 reviews on TripAdvisor over four years of which 70 per cent were restaurants, bars and destinations not related to hotels.

"Unfortunately in general social media activity the employee made comments about hotels, both under the Accor brand and competitors," he said.

"We acknowledge this is a  breach of the Accor social media policy. Accor shares on its intranet with all its employees a social media charter that clearly stipulates that Accor employees 'must ensure complete transparency with regards to their own identity and their relationship to the Accor Group' when stating their views on social media."

In a statement TripAdvisor said it was confident its systems and processes work.

"As well as all reviews being screened by our world-class tools for fraud, we also benefit from a large and passionate community of more than 200 million monthly visitors who let us know if something is potentially amiss, as in this case," it said in the statement.

"We're confident that our systems and processes work. Simply, people continue to join and visit TripAdvisor in increasing numbers because of the usefulness that the more than 100 million traveller reviews and opinions provide.

"According to a recent PhoCusWright study commissioned by TripAdvisor, 98 per cent of respondents have found TripAdvisor hotel reviews to be accurate of the actual experience."

This story comes courtesy of Hospitality Magazine.

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